I live in a very small home. My room is 10ft x 10ft in area. There is one sofa, one study table and one PC and a chair which is probably as old as I am. It was made by my grandfather decades ago. I don’t have a bed because that will take up too much space and I can barely stretch my legs if that happens. I prefer to sit on the floor and work because I feel safe. I have an awkward fear of heights. Even if I sit on those office chairs, I tend to lower the seat height.
When I go past some homes on my way to work I see these goliath structures and I tell myself ‘I wish I lived in a home like that’. These thoughts about ‘I wish I had <Insert anything>’ would haunt me. I remember one day how haunting these thoughts were that I had to stop my vehicle and just calm my nerves. I suffer from very bad anxiety attacks. Although these days they are not as bad as they usually are.
Now you may ask why I don’t talk to my family about my mental health issues… well I AM IN INDIA! MENTAL HEALTH IS A MYTH!
Anyway, back to the article…
These thoughts were something I had to deal with regularly and one day it finally stopped because I fought that inner voice. I put myself in a situation, ‘okay, if you ever shake hands with the Devil, would you give up your biggest strength to live in that big house?’
I chose the Devil here because I wanted to spice up the article.
Anyway, the voice in my head said ‘NO!’ and it was a loud ‘NO!’. My biggest strength today was once my biggest weaknesses growing up. I struggled to be good at English. I’d see my brother Vikram speak it flawlessly and my English would was at its peak of awfulness when I said ‘I putted it on the table’.
Today I can comfortably speak, read, and write in English. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I realized that in life if I want to gain something I must give up something. This isn’t philosophy. This is science and more specifically entropy. To create a compound, an electron must be given up, to create power Uranium must lose its neutrons, to apply for Aadhar Card, I must miss two episodes of my favourite show. So everywhere we need to give up something to gain something.
Whenever you feel inferior to whatever you come across, concentrate on what your biggest strength is. If you don’t have one, then work hard to make something your biggest strength. I would spend hours reading books, articles on Wikipedia, study how various authors would write, YouTube tutorials, solve crosswords, read newspapers, and of course taking the big step to face an audience and talk. To make communication skills as my biggest strength took me years. But now every minute I have spent to develop it is completely worth it.
I can even sense the change in confidence when I talk to some of my classmates. I can sense how powerful I feel when I speak to them. Today I am not afraid to voice my opinion because I have the right vocabulary to say it whether it is a meeting or even discussing something with my mother who I was once terrified of.
There are numerous students I meet in my present workplace who are immensely talented. There are some who are already experts in their craft. Things like playing a musical instrument, anchoring an event, presentation skills or even inter-personal skills. There are students I have met who have studied human behaviour to an extent which exceeds their age and maturity levels.
I say this because when I was 16-17 years old, I barely understood myself, let alone excel at something. I was terrible in academics, my communication skills of course, my understanding of the world and if I look back at those days I can confidently say that I didn’t have a single strength which I could be proud of.
I meet students in my class who have done sales pitches and succeeded in doing them. There are students in my class who stop writing an exam because the pen ran out of ink and still manage to score 95/100. I have not felt so confident about any exam in my life. When I see these teenagers with these superhuman abilities given their age, I don’t understand why they would feel inferior.
If you do, ask yourself ‘would you give it up? Your biggest strength for that securing that one thing your feel inferior about?’
I cannot give up my communication skills for the world. There are days when I have a sore throat and I feel powerless at work. The kryptonite for my biggest strength is the rhino virus. I will take the Pokémon principle here. In the Pokémon universe, Earth Pokémon are stronger than water Pokémon and fire Pokémon are weaker than water Pokémon and Earth Pokémon are weaker than the fire Pokémon.
What does this indicate? There is always someone better than you in some aspect. Learn to live with it or try hard to excel at it. This isn’t a reason for you to feel inferior.
– By Vipin MK